Report: Oklahoma regents to discuss stadium upgrades

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The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents are scheduled to meet next week, and potential upgrades to the football home of the Sooners are expected to be on the agenda.

Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium has a seating capacity of 82,112 after being upgraded prior to 2004. It was previously reported the stadium expansion plans might push that capacity up to the 90,000 mark, but now that remains in some slight doubt. The possibility of completing the bowl in the south end of the stadium does remain a possibility though. The upgrades may not necessarily increase the seating capacity inside, at least significantly. Instead, the upgrades are more likely to target game day experience improvements, something many schools have been looking to address with improved network capabilities, enhanced video scoreboards and luxury suites. Afterall, it’s all about making the big money donors and fans happy about supporting Oklahoma athletics, right?

Per a report by Tulsa World;

Included with the stadium renovation discussion is a review of contracts and compensation for OU’s athletic department personnel, including head coach Bob Stoops and his football staff.

The school has targeted “significant student-athlete, team, operations and stadium improvement projects” that will combine “new state-of-the-art features and elements to create an enhanced experience for OU’s athletic teams, students, student-athletes, alumni, fans, and visitors” according to the agenda.

A previous report suggested a price tag between $350 and $400 million, although the latest report by Tulsa World shared no details on the estimated cost of the renovation project. We should get more confirmation on the plans next week.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

Associated Press
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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.